Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 1×187 Review – “Karma”

karma boruto anime 187 review
Team 7 getting ready for Kashin Koji in ‘Karma’ (Image: Screengrab)

Boruto anime episode 187, ‘Karma’, showed what the titular character’s Karma Mark is able to do. It also showed the young Team 7 that they still need to do a lot of training to face the Kara organization.

First things first, even though I hoped the anime writers would be able to justify Ao becoming a villain, unfortunately, even they couldn’t make sense of his motivations. The previous episode had Ao tell Boruto that no ordinary ninja can become as powerful as Naruto. So, why even bother working hard? Isn’t it easier to use Scientific Ninja Tools to attain high levels of power?

Ao does have a point. Even though the Naruto/Boruto franchise features narrative threads focusing on working hard and taking control of your destiny, when it actually matters, characters that are born with special genetics are the ones who continue to succeed. If I’m not wrong, even without belonging to special families, only Might Guy, Rock Lee, and Sakura are ninjas who were able to obtain a lot of strength through sheer determination. However, they are exceptions to the rule. If you want to be a ninja in the Naruto/Boruto world, you better pray you’re genetically gifted or belong to a special ninja clan.

Even though I understood where Ao’s coming from, his decision to work for the Kara organization still didn’t make sense. If he wanted Scientific Ninja Technology attached to his body, Katasuke could have done that for him (without Ao needing to turn into a bad guy).

Anyway, Ao’s dead now. So, I guess we can move on from him and the not-so-well-written justification the anime writers tried to give such a character.

Before Ao died, he did save Boruto from Kashin Koji’s attack. I guess it was an act to redeem his character a bit? Meh!

Kashin Koji vs Konohamaru was an interesting battle to see in ‘Karma’. It was clear Konohamaru didn’t stand a chance against Koji. That’s not to say that Konohamaru’s weak. It’s just that Koji’s a highly-strategic Kage-level opponent.

While manga readers know about Koji’s true identity, I’m looking forward to seeing when anime-only fans will be able to realize who he’s supposed to be. ‘Karma’ dropped quite a lot of hints. So, it shouldn’t be too tough for anime-only fans to come to the right conclusion.

Seeing Konohamaru about to be burned alive by Koji is what helped Boruto activate his Karma Mark. Our young ninja immediately absorbed Koji’s paralysis jutsu as well as the flames surrounding Konohamaru. However, Boruto fainted before he could attack Koji.

Watching Mitsuki hold Salad back as Koji walked away from the fight was a nice little moment. Both of them care about Boruto, but Mituski’s the one who always tries to remain calm. Salad should learn a thing or two from him. There’s no need to be rush after a powerful opponent who can easily kill you. As someone who dreams of becoming Hokage, Salad needs to develop more.

‘Karma’ ended with Boruto and the rest coming across an unconscious Kawaki. If you have been following my coverage of the Boruto franchise, you already know I’m not a fan of Kawaki. I don’t have anything against Kawaki as a character. My dislike has more to do with how the narrative’s been using him. In the manga, the moment Kawaki appeared, Mitsuki and Salad got pushed to the background. Let’s see how the anime writers decide to handle Kawaki in upcoming episodes and if Mituski and Salad will be treated the same as their manga counterparts.

As for what the Kara organization’s up to, ‘Karma’ showed Delta looking at Amado’s data on Code. From what I can tell, Delta and Code don’t trust Koji. They’re still trying to figure out who the mole is even though we, as viewers, already know which members aren’t 100% standing with Kara’s original goals.

What did you think of ‘Karma’?

Let us know.   

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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